Marcus Bachmann plopped down on the seat next to me, in the back of the plane. He pointed at my laptop and asked if he could take a look. “All I want to know is what they’re saying about me,” he said. “Newsweek came up with the word ‘silver fox.’ Tell me what ‘silver fox’ means.”
“Do you want me to tell you honestly?” I asked.
“Oh, don’t tell me it’s something gay!” he said. “Because I’ve been called that before.” Marcus is a psychologist who runs a clinic that employs people Michele described in 2006 as “Biblical world-view counsellors,” who “reach out and try to bring the medicine of the Gospel to come and heal people.”
I explained that “silver fox” probably had more to do with the color of his hair.
“O.K., I can handle that,” he said. Tera, the assistant, assured him that it was a positive term.
“It’s better than Porky Pig,” Marcus said, with a laugh.
Marcus announced that he would now analyze everyone around him. He asked for three characteristics that a close friend might use to describe me. I demurred. He kept pushing: “So reporters are not that vulnerable?” “Maybe it’s a man thing.”
I tried to change the subject by asking him about the similarities between psychologists and journalists. But he would have none of it. “You are still asking questions about me!” he exclaimed. “That’s a trademark. Ai-yi-yi!”
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker. Leap of Faith.